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Sharing Secrets – Business Travel Managers Share their Plans for the Future

Leading business travel planners share information about changes that have been implemented in the tourism sector and expectations in a new post-COVID-19 world!

January 3, 2021

COVID-19 hit most unexpectedly. At present, there is no business or industry that hasn’t been affected directly or indirectly by the pandemic. 

Several companies have contingency plans for unforeseen disasters and the odd political issue. However, the sudden and global impact of COVID-19 highlighted a gap in these preparations. As a result, businesses had to immediately restructure entire departments, especially those associated with the travel industry. 

To understand the changes being implemented in travel by organizations, SoldoutNight spoke to some of the leading business travel planners from top companies across the globe. 

We asked them about the arrangements and precautions they are taking to continue functioning productively in what is undoubtedly a new kind of business travel world.   

We highlight key points from their responses and share aspects of business travel that will become a norm, helping in better travel management, benefiting corporations and employees equally. 

Safety First

Every business travel planner we spoke to stated that the safety of their employees was of paramount importance. Several managers have already started training sessions to explain COVID-19 related protocols to traveling employees. 

Focusing not only on physical health issues but also on understanding mental well-being needs, they were able to plan travel that does not cause undue anxiety for the employees.    

Adding to their safety measures, managers are consulting health officials to provide their staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) packs that include all necessary articles for a secure business trip. 

By using SoldoutNight’s all-in-one travel management solution, managers can effectively share itineraries and travel restrictions in one place, available to employees, at all times. 

Since a smart business travel solution allows managers to keep track of their employees’ whereabouts, they feel better prepared for any emergency or last-minute itinerary changes. 

Further helping in this endeavor is creating a central database with emergency numbers, hotel addresses, and employee contact information easily accessible to various department heads.   

Essential Travel Only

Speaking to its customers, SoldoutNight found that there is a unanimous consensus regarding the importance of face-to-face interaction with clients. While technology has simplified communication, networking with business partners, in-person still holds more value.  

Businesses are re-thinking the definition of “essential travel.” While earlier, companies were lenient when it came to employee travel, they are now considering each business travel request more seriously, keeping in mind its necessity, cost, and possible health risks. 

Therefore, managers are integrating new travel policies which allows them to immediately monitor and flag unsafe travel requests. 

New Systems in Place 

When questioned about particular practices implemented with the help of a smart business travel solution, travel managers mentioned several factors with long-term benefits, they have started to include in their day-to-day.

Single Point of Action for Bookings

A smart business travel solution like SoldoutNight can help companies implement policies better while planning employee trips in a contemporary fashion. 

Managers and employees can book airline tickets and hotels in one place without switching between multiple websites. 

Cheapest Hotel Rates

Companies are facing a financial crunch and saving money. SoldoutNight monitors fluctuating hotel rates until check-in, automatically updating the price if it drops below the initial booking amount. A great feature to save money on hotel rates. Hotel rate savings can reach up to 65%.

Reduced Contact

COVID-19 has led us all to an involuntary contactless environment. SoldoutNight allowed for seamless travel arrangements, easy for use for teams and all web based. 

No contact required between employees and departments, the all-in-one business travel solution comes ready for a future that will include more work from home and virtual possibilities.  

Expense Monitoring 

Many of the managers also admitted that expense reporting through a smart business travel solution is nothing short of a revolutionary process. Their employees no longer need to keep physical copies of receipts, simply uploading them live during a business trip using an app. 

On the other hand, employers can approve expenditures faster, with quicker reimbursements and better tracking of departmental travel budgets.

24×7 Customer Support        

Not so much a practice but a significant advantage, all travel planner’s we speak with believe that an easy to reach 24×7 business travel customer support can been a deciding factor in moving to a smart travel solution.  

Available through phone, email, chat, or messaging apps, it leads to speedy resolutions of all requests. At a time when employees and managers are on edge due to growing coronavirus cases worldwide, excellent customer support can help reduce stress, resulting in a headache-free travel experience.

In conclusion, research has shown that with more people eager to get back to traveling, post a coronavirus vaccine, business travel could surpass 2019 numbers as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. However, should there be a delay, it can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months before we can travel like earlier

Business travel managers acknowledge that there is now a planned attempt towards shifting documentation, communication and travel processing online as much as possible. Several of them also see applying a smart travel business system permanently. 

This is where SoldoutNight comes into the picture, as a preferred travel solution for startups and small businesses. Be it ticketing, expense reporting or employee travel management, uncomplicating travel operations in a post-COVID world.